10 Tips for Wildfire Safety
When it comes to natural disasters, you probably think of hurricanes, tornados, and most recently, flooding. However, wildfires also pose a significant threat. There is a fire currently raging in southern Georgia, North Carolina battled a bout of wildfires earlier this year, and there was the catastrophic Tennessee wildfire late last year that took 14 lives, and destroyed much of the resort towns of Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg.
Anytime a region experiences a lack of rain and strong winds, there is a risk of a wildfire. Something as simple as a lit cigarette or a lightning strike could start a fire that spreads rapidly, becoming a wildfire. Developing an emergency plan is key when it comes to your safety in a wildfire. Use these ten tips listed below to create your plan, and protect the safety of you and your loved ones.
Evaluate your risk.Take advantage of resources in your community and online to learn about determining risk and prediciting wildfires. Also ask if your region has an established wildfire season where fires are more likely to occur.
Have an emergency communication plan.Things can become very chaotic during an emergency, and typical methods of communication, such as phone or internet may be unavailable due to damage. Your family may also be separated when the emergency begins, so it is important to develop a plan of who will contact whom, as well as choose a predetermined meeting location.
Prepare an emergency supplies kit.Gather supplies, such as water, food, first aid, blankets, medications, flashlights, batteries, and other essentials, and store them in a waterproof container that can be easily accessed and transported. Go to Ready.gov for a complete list of recommended emergency kit supplies.
Explore community resources.Determine if your community has an established evacuation route and shelters in place in the event of a wildfire, and how to access them so you can do so quickly in an emergency.
Check your insurance.Review your homeowner’s policy to know what is covered in the event your home and belongings are damaged by smoke or fire. For example, will your insurance cover smoke and fire remediation services, such as those provided by ServiceMaster?
Clear away flammable materials on your property.Remove fuel for the fire by cleaning up flammable debris such as leaves and wood from your yard, gutters, and roof. Maintain a 30 foot perimeter around your home free of flammable materials.
Share plans with friends and family.Discuss your plans for wildfire safety with your friends and family, and encourage them to develop their own plans as well.
Remain informed.Stay up to date on weather conditions and announcements through emergency alerts on your smart phone, or by listening to local tv and radio for instructions.
Learn first aid.Take a course on first aid so that you will know how to manage injuries until they can be addressed by healthcare professionals.
Plan an evacuation route.If your community does not have an established evacuation route, create one that can get you to safety quickly. Remember that streets can become blocked by debris, such as fallen trees, so have alternate routes planned, and avoid waiting too late to leave to avoid becoming trapped and risking injury.
Wildfires are a serious threat that can cause damage to your property and loss of life. Always put you and your family’s safety first if there is a risk of a wildfire.
Should your home become damaged due to smoke or fire, contact the remediation experts at ServiceMaster of Florence or ServiceMaster of Columbia. Our trained technicians have the equipment and understanding to address the challenges of fire and smoke remediation and provide quality results you can depend on. Call today to learn more and schedule your appointment.